THE KEY TO HAPPINESS MAY BE IN PROVIDING ONE
Eric Glazer, Esq.
Published January 27, 2020
I have to write a lot in order to get my point across. Maybe
it’s because the law is not clear. There are exceptions to the
rule. There are extenuating circumstances. This is not one of
those times. So let me say this as clear as clear can be: If
the governing documents or even board made rule require the
owners to leave a key to their unit with the association – you
must leave a key to your unit with the association. There
is no excuse yet that I have seen or read about which would
allow an owner to disregard the requirement to leave a key.
“they don’t need a key, I’m always home”
“I don’t trust the Board to have a key to my unit
– they’re all crooks”
“I’ll leave the key with my neighbor but not the
fail. These defenses have been repeatedly tried in arbitration
cases and never work. The unit owner not only is required by
the arbitrator to turn over keys, but now they’re required to
reimburse the association their attorney’s fees and costs. A
big loss for the unit owner.
So now that the association has the right to have a key, does
that mean they can enter your unit any time they like? Of
course not. Florida Statute 718.111 provides:
(5) RIGHT OF ACCESS TO UNITS.—
(a) The association has the irrevocable right of access to each
unit during reasonable hours, when necessary for the
maintenance, repair, or replacement of any common elements or of
any portion of a unit to be maintained by the association
pursuant to the declaration or as necessary to prevent damage to
the common elements or to a unit.
unless the association is there for the specific reasons
contained in the statute, they cannot come in. If they do, it
may be considered a criminal trespass. Moreover, if the
association is going to maintain keys to everyone’s unit, they
would be wise to ensure that the keys are kept under their own
lock and key. If the keys in the association’s possession are
not properly protected by the association, the keys are
accessed, and a unit is broken into, no doubt that the
association can face extensive liability for being negligent.
HOA & Condo Blog
Eric Glazer graduated from
the University of Miami School of Law in 1992 after
receiving a B.A. from NYU. He has practiced community
association law for more than 2
decades and is the owner of Glazer
and Sachs, P.A. a seven attorney law firm with offices in
Fort Lauderdale and Orlando and satellite offices in Naples,
Fort Myers and Tampa.
Since 2009, Eric has been the host
of Condo Craze and HOAs, a weekly one hour radio show that airs
at noon each Sunday on 850 WFTL.
He is the first attorney in the
State of Florida that designed a course that certifies
condominium residents as eligible to serve on a condominium
Board of Directors and has now certified more than 10,000
Floridians all across the state. He is certified as a Circuit
Court Mediator by The Florida Supreme Court and has mediated
dozens of disputes between associations and unit owners. Eric
also devotes significant time to advancing legislation in the
best interest of Florida community association members.